2010 Denver Rock and Roll Marathon
DNF - Actually I finished the half in 2:25 just because I want to get my stuff from the gear check.
Leading up to the race
I was pretty excited for this marathon, finally my redemption from this course kicking my butt last year. Leading up to the race I felt pretty good until about 3-4 days to go. That’s when I started getting that achy feeling in my quads. This isn’t a good sign, why is it when I take it easy I get more sore than when I run hard. This wasn’t good for my confidence and it was all I could think about. The night before the race I couldn’t shut my brain off and I couldn’t fall asleep. I think I might have slept for 10 -20 min a few times but I didn’t finally fall asleep until about 2 AM. My alarm went off at 5 AM and I got up felling exhausted before the big day started. Add to this was the confusion of getting to the race on time, the previous year I took the train without issue. This year I tried to drive downtown and it was stressful and I almost didn’t make it to the race on time. After checking my gear and running to the starting line (race already had started) I hopped into the nearest corral which was almost my correct corral and walked up to the start. Last year I rode the train and was at the start 1hr before the gun when off it was so much easier.
I started the race mentally exhausted. I didn’t feel good and I thought to myself I just go slowly while I am waiting for my body to figure out its running a marathon. About 3 miles in and I was going even slower up till then I was running nearly 11 min pace. The next 7 miles I had to include walk breaks which put my pace over 11 min per mile. In all my training runs I had run around 10 min pace, I was running slower and I was more and more tired every mile. Around mile 10 my quads starting making that twitchy feeling like they are about to cramp. Once that happened I didn’t really think about it much other than “I am not going to walk the last 10mi today”. Another ½ mile have my quads felt like they were turning into mush, I turned onto the half marathon at the fork in the race. I probably threw in the towel to quickly but I wasn’t mentally tough today. I wanted to go home and crawl in bed, heck I want to crawl back in bed hours ago.
Before the race really had got anywhere it was already over. I pulled off to the side of the road and called my wife told her to let everyone go home and please come pick me up. My family was waiting for me at the park but they never got to see me run. This was the toughest part about giving up, these people came to see me and I let them down. I cried thinking about this as I ran the final miles of the half marathon. After the race I got my stuff and got out of there as quick as possible I felt like a loser. My wife and the kids picked me up a few block away from the finish line. My daughter was really upset that she didn’t get to see her daddy race. I couldn’t explain to her why either, which just made me feel worse. It was a little easier telling my friends family and coworkers that I didn’t finish but it didn’t feel good. If I had to go back and do it over I would have finished the marathon or at least tried to finish. There is a lot more honor in making it 20 miles rather than giving up at half way.
1. I put in 3 months into training for this race and zero thinking about race day logistics. I don’t think this would have fix everything but my mind might have been stronger when things got rough.
2. 3 week taper (20 days) is the standard for most people but I not like most people. I tried the 3 week taper twice this year and both times my legs (quads mostly) were mush come race day. I had a good half marathon only 6 days after a 20 miler why would I need 20 days when I am ready to do after 6. Next time I am going to do a 13 day taper and we will see how that goes.
3. For most people running slower should conserve energy again I am not like most people. Running slower than the planed pace as the same effect as running faster than the planed pace.Bottom Line: I need to be more aggressive in the completion of a marathon. Too much taper + slow pace + stress from lax travel plans = rough day